I wanted to give you all an update on how I am doing with my sugar detox. It has been one full month since I swore off sugar. I feel like this is a huge accomplishment and I am proud of myself for exercising such control and keeping my New Year’s resolution.
Overall, I have seen an improvement in the quality of my skin. It feels smoother and less prone to breakouts. But I have not noticed much difference in energy levels. My cravings for snacks have diminished and I am satisfied just eating three regular meals a day. I have been making an effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet and relying on walnuts, oatmeal, bananas, apples, tangerines and granola bars to tide me over when I get hungry.
This detox has had its challenging times. The recent snowstorms have tested my willpower and I must admit that all my efforts to avoid baking the last box of Ghirardelli brownies I had in the house were in vain. Even though I had a couple of “cheat” days, I learned that I can eat sweets in moderation. Once the brownies were finished I was concerned that I would return to my old bad habits. But, fortunately, that was not the case.
Aside from a few days with a sugar headache when I began this journey, it seems that my body has adjusted just fine to life with a modified sugar intake. So here are a few things I have learned from doing a sugar detox.
The best part about doing a sugar detox?
I love how my skin looks! It is almost to a point where I could leave the house without makeup and not be self-conscious. I feel healthier overall and have noticed an improvement in the quality of my sleep. I also don’t feel as hungry suddenly as I used to after a sugar crash.
The hardest part?
I’ve found it difficult to resist unnecessary snacking when I am home (or bored). The snowstorms were particularly hard because I stocked up on a few items that made avoiding snacking virtually impossible (take that Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn!). Also, having to decline freshly baked cookies and cakes at work has been somewhat torturous depending on the day.
What have I learned about myself?
I am incredibly proud of how far I have come. The last time I tried to do a sugar detox it was awful and I barely made it 3 weeks before caving in to sweets. This time around I am committed to making a change and I realize that it is a permanent lifestyle adjustment. When I first made the brownies I felt guilty. But afterwards, I realized that it showed I can handle sugar in moderation. I noticed an immediate difference in how I felt after eating the brownie and it made me acknowledge that I really didn’t need or want sweets. Since then I’ve gotten back to my regular eating habits and haven’t had any sugar cravings. I used to say that I had no willpower and was powerless to resist sweets, but I’ve learned that when I really want to make a change, I can, and that is a great feeling.
What advice would I give to someone who wants to try a sugar detox?
Go for it and do what feels right to you! I’ve read that you should wean yourself off of sugar slowly, or that you should indulge when you feel you need to, but the strategy I adopted was to cut out sugar cold-turkey. Obviously, there is sugar in most products, so eliminating it 100% is difficult, but I make every effort to compare products and incorporate the ones with the least amount of sugar possible. Whichever strategy you find works for you is great, and of course, there will be days where it is harder than others to stick to it and days when you have to have sweets. That is okay — acknowledge how you are feeling on that day and remember, tomorrow is another day to get back on track.